Biodiversity

We're maintaining the levels of green space on campus since 2011 levels – increasing the provision of biodiversity on campus.

Our commitment 

We're dedicated to maximising biodiversity, finding opportunities to create and use green space on campus.

We aim to:

  • maintain the level of green space on campus compared to 2011 levels
  • increase the number of animal and plant species on campus compared with 2011 levels
  • increase the level of freshwater ecology in the reservoir compared with 2011 levels
  • Maintain our Green Flag status for Drake’s Place.

How we're maintaining green space on campus

We have a very dense city-centre campus – which is under constant demand for productive space. We're working to counteract these demands to achieve a balance between green space and campus developments. For example following the refurbishment of the Sustainability Hub there are now an internal and external living green wall covering 80 square metres with over 90 plants per square meter.

In 2014, Drake's Place went through a £1.4 million restoration project to restore the reservoir and gardens back to their original design, simultaneously supporting and increasing levels of plant life and insect species. This project has achieved Green Flag status for three years running since opening. The Green Flag Award recognises well managed greenspaces and aims to set a benchmark for recreational outdoor spaces across the UK, the scheme promotes quality green space for all alongside proper management with good facilities to ensure the space meets the needs of the local community. The gardens incorporate lawn, wildflower and woodland wildflower areas around the reservoir, as well as shrubs, flower beds and large trees. The historic significance of Drake's Place includes the cascade and stream, which help to provide a peaceful and atmospheric space to enjoy. Drake’s Place and Reservoir is a place where students, staff and the general public can go to relax, learn and volunteer.

We also have the Physic Garden on campus where students and staff can volunteer as part of a gardening group. This project links outdoor learning to curriculum engagement for sustainability and the group get involved in growing vegetables, herbs and insect friendly planting. Children from Freshlings Nursery also take part in the growing activities – with their own space outside the nursery on Endsleigh Place.

In the spring of 2015 we got our very own apiary on campus. We have two bee hives that are managed by a group of keen volunteers from departments across the University and led by the School of Art and Media. Our bees are Apis mellifera mellifera, a so called native or black bee. Look out for University of Plymouth honey.

For buildings off campus, the biodiversity achievements are much wider. The Dental School in the Plymouth Science Park and the Pool Innovation Centre both have a green roof, supporting wildlife by providing micro-climates for insects and birds – as well as adding thermal insulating properties to the building and reducing surface run-off of rainfall.